Ever since the days of the classic black and white silent films from the early twentieth century, psychological thrillers have proven themselves to be one of the hardest genres of filmmaking to get right. Needing to weave together a strong story and deep, layered characters with the usual tropes of building suspense and ingenious shocks, psychological thrillers are so often the go-to films for seeing the most extreme forms a human mind and body can be pushed to.
From the heyday day of Hitchcock, to the modern world of Flanagan and co., there have been numerous examples of characters and moments that have absolutely nailed these things however.
The likes of Anthony Hopkins and Kevin Spacey have mesmerised audiences with their portrayals of twisted antagonists, directors like M. Night Shyamalan have cleverly subverted expectations and pulled out huge twists, and actors like Christian Bale and Michael Douglas have shown the full effects being pushed all the way can have on even the most heroic of main characters.
When a psychological thriller really finds its form, the effects can certainly be pretty profound and hard to immediately recover from. Here's our take on ten psychological thrillers that genuinely mess with your head.